I’m still sipping on this non boozy summer drink and I have to tell you, it’s so good! I nabbed a huge package of figs at Trader Joe’s last week and knew I had to do something with them, STAT. Some of them were already getting kind of mushy and gross, so I knew it was going to be time to use them up like, yesterday. On a side note, (more…)
I never really realized the true value in shopping local produce until this past year. I always just kind of assumed that produce was available year around (hooray!) and if it’s cheap, why bother? When we moved to Milwaukee a few years ago, I started to realize how lucky we are to live in a place that has so many farmer’s markets, and good ones to boot. Ranging from the usual staples, to all the varieties of tomatoes you could ever want and a taco truck selling off to the side, our farmer’s markets have quite a few options. After going to my favorite farmer’s market a few times and meeting/talking with the producers of the fruits and veggies I was buying, I realized how much more I enjoy eating and cooking with it, rather than just picking it up from the grocery store and hoping that it’s ripe. It also doesn’t hurt that there is a very cute older gentleman who sells corn and sings the oldies while he does it, so really I go for the cute sellers and good plants. (kidding, but he is sweet!) (more…)
It’s the Wednesday before a holiday weekend (here in the U.S.) and we all have picnics and cookouts to plan, so let’s make this brief, cool? I have mint totally coming out of my ears right now, especially since I killed off my jalapeno and bell pepper plans (RIP), on account of neglect, a few dry days and just overall forgetting they were even on our side patio (whoops!). The two remaining, hearty potted plants I have left are a decent amount of pretty basil leaves and this mint that is just overtaking the entire pot they are sharing. I know that mint is pretty easy to take care of and usually survives a lot of the up and down temps here in the Midwest, but little did I know that I would end up with just SO much of it. My initial reaction was the throw a mojito party, (please come help me drink them!), but I knew I needed another way to use up the bevvy of mint I have going. Since the cherries are in their heyday right now, they seemed like a perfect pairing with the fresh mint and blended into tart lemonade. Summer in a glass!
You can make this cherry mint lemonade with or without alcohol, it’s all up to you! I made this cherry lemonade with the intention of being a straight up lemonade recipe, rather than a cocktail, but when I posted a teaser picture of this on Facebook yesterday, someone asked if it was ‘with voddy?’. I thought, um, you know what, yes, yes please serve this with some voddy (vodka) and call it a night. This is like the perfect day to night dress you have in your closet, plain and businesslike during the day, but can be made into ‘Ohh girl you look good!’ accessory for a nighttime barbecue.
I just started comparing lemonade and dresses, so it’s time to sign off and start thinking about the weekend! I’m ready for cherry wine and lots of chocolate chip cookies on the patio. Enjoy the weekend friends, I’ll be back next week with an ice cream recipe inspired by my favorite Wisconsin cocktail.
I love the flavors in this summertime lemonade, especially when cherries are at the peak of ripeness and sweetness. Sub in honey for the agave or adjust the amount of water according to your personal preference. I prefer mine a bit more diluted, but if you want more punch, add less water!
Author: Abby Thompson
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 4-5 cups
2 cups cherries
Juice of 4 lemons
3 cups of cold water
¼ cup agave nectar
⅓ cup mint
In a blender, blend together all of the ingredients until combined. Serve cold over ice and add vodka, if that's your style!
I had to warn myself after I put these in the fridge, these are boozy smoothies filled with bourbon and wine that should NOT be taken to work for a snack. It is so automatic for me to just grab a smoothie in the fridge and take it for a mid-morning snack (like this blueberry and toasted oat one!) or drink with my breakfast, so I just have to keep telling myself that these are the after work kind. These boozy smoothies are more like (more…)
I know smoothies aren’t usually winter treats, but I’ve been chipping away at this sweet/salty fudge and just polished off this cake and it’s high time for something a little lighter. I like my smoothies on the thinner side, but don’t want juice, I want a smoothie! If I wanted juice, I would have juice, you know? So my solution was making a batch of homemade cashew milk and adding it in with the blood orange beauties I found at Trader Joe’s during my last shopping trip. Oftentimes, I grab the season’s produce without thinking about what I’m really going to do with it, but Kathryn’s creamy smoothie inspired me to go heavy handed on the citrus with a winter time smoothie. Blood oranges seem to be tad sweeter than their regular counterparts, with a gorgeous dark red juice that was just perfect for a pink-hued smoothie. Frozen pineapple seemed like another perfectly tart addition, as well as balancing out the sweetness of the blood oranges. I loved this smoothie as is, but if you want to add some sweetness, I think a tablespoon of agave nectar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract (DIY it!) would make perfect additions. If you can’t find blood oranges, sub in your favorite winter citrus. But honestly, that color and the touch of sweetness the oranges bring can’t be beat!
I wasn’t really sure if we had bypassed hot chocolate season, or if it still felt like an all around winter drink. I feel like hot chocolate goes all gang busters around Christmas, but then it gets neglected right away after all the lights and decorations are long gone. Me? I’ll drink hot chocolate anytime during the cooler months, especially if it isn’t the powdered stuff. Honestly, I used to LOVE the hot chocolate with the tiny marshmallows in the package. We didn’t get it all the time, but when we did, it was the hot chocolate I always made a beeline for. Not only are you drinking a mug of piping hot melted chocolate (ok chocolate powder thing), but there were also a mess of cute little marshmallows floating around and getting all melty at the same time. Who can beat that?
Now that I know how easy it is make homemade hot chocolate, I will abandon the package stuff for the cup of real deal chocolate anyday! Ever since I got this baby, which is now my favorite kitchen appliance, I can’t stop finding recipes to use it for, including this hot chocolate. If you don’t have a Vitamix, this is just as easy to make on the stovetop and takes just as long. My favorite vegan chocolate to use in this recipe is the big bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s, which ends up being pretty good quality and fairly cheap (although we burn through them like nobody’s business around here). Since I made mine in the blender I added a handful of shredded coconut to the hot chocolate itself, but feel free to leave that out if you are cooking on the stovetop. Also, word to the wise, this is just as good piping hot and after it’s chilled in the freezer for a bit, so either way, this dessert-y drink is perfect!
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (I've made it both ways)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup shredded coconut, for garnish
To make on the stovetop: Combine all the ingredients, except for the shredded coconut, and cook on medium heat until chocolate pieces are completely melted. Pour into mugs and garnish with shredded coconut.
To make in a high-powered blender: Combine all ingredients, except for the shredded coconut and blend on high until hot and mixture is completely blended. Garnish with shredded coconut.